Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Autumn Calls

Seasons of mellow fruitfulness... A post of sentimental indulgence.

The time is almost upon us, where the nights start to draw in, the trees start to shed their leaves and the earth carries the fruity aroma of fungi forming below ground.

When I woke early this morning, the air carried the feel of a dull sun; the dying embers knocking on the door of a summer past its sell by date. Once firmly planted in our mind, the memories go slip-streaming through the chicanes, the carefree days touring through Europe, winding up zig-zag passes; dropping down through lakes; stopping at village shops selling peaches the size of footballs on the route southwards, to end up lolling on beaches with lazy holiday reads under beach umbrellas; watching golden crisp bodies amble along the water's edge; mummified skin hanging in the folds of aging couples, found walking hand in hand along beaches teaming with new life; passing men flexing muscles, who wink at girls in the hope of starting the life cycle all over again; and all this already melting into the story vaults, even though today's 30 degree weather prediction has been heralded as potentially the hottest day of the year.

It is already sunny, it will be hot, but in spite of this, the air has 'That' feel about it. 'That' feel reminded me of my teens, when the price for the long summer laziness had to be repaid by the sewing of labels on sports clothes, bedding, school uniform, blazers and hats; it seemed an endless pastime, that moved the remaining days of the summer holiday into an ethereal state of inevitability. It is 'That' feel, that now encroaches on the onset of Autumn and the hope that we will have those bright blue skies, crisp Autumn mornings, dank mists rising to refresh the balding flora and fauna, before they fade from glory.

So whilst I remain in nostalgic mood, a sentimental blast from the memories of my childhood.

The Brother and Sisterhood of Awen,
From Beyond Green Hills
by Rosie Jones

Passion lies just beneath a man's skin, more often than not fused to the soul through the umbilical.

Accused of fanaticism, clansman ship and an overbearing desire to convert all mankind to the love of all things Welsh. A nation divided by much more than channel or border.

The smell of dank rain on tarmac choking the back of your throat, artificial and false against the natural beauty, made good to form lush green pastures, raised from root by a regular cleansing.

Sheep roaming on undulating hills, grazing on the Almighty's grass, pure driven by the relentless beating of the wind.

Occasional lines of washing, whipping and flapping laundry, as white as angels wings; seasoned women in their pinnies, keeping a watchful eye for a turn in the weather; moisture only a kiss away from the mountain tops, as the base of flat bottomed clouds skim grass the colour of envy.

My grandmother used to black the grate like an act of devotion, kneeling on slate slabs hewn from ancient rock, sculpted to fit on earth floors and now worn smooth by the rubbing and pacing of life in front of the fire.

Lamb basting in the home range, fired to a heat that sears a welcome to all who enter the heart of the home. Proper lamb, where every mouthful contains the taste of Welsh dew, twisted with mint to freshen the breath.

Drop scones and Welsh cakes sizzling on the dying heat of the cast iron, the smell of earthy potatoes baking amongst the embers of the rapidly cooling furnace, not a drop of energy wasted.

There is a Celtic rhythm that beats on every street corner, that can be heard amongst the language of the gossiping women and their clacking tongues, or from the music in the babbling brook, or drunk from the heavenly backdrop of the choirs singing in the Baptist churches on the Sabbath.

In the valleys, the pits laid to rest in reverence to God to keep the Lords day pure. God fearing superstitious men, humbled by the ghostly whispers of their ancestors, that echo up the empty mine shafts singing like Sirens from an ancient shore, tempting the men back to work.

Daily, emerging like grey Gothic ghosts with underground eyes and gums the colour of beetle juice, but on the Sabbath, black haired, grey-faced men in miniature, hands in trouser pockets, hunched against the bracing wind. Scattered with occasional giants of men, Sunday sleeves at half-mast, caught short by Holy showers, their twisted Worsted shrunken and re-shaped into unfashionable style.

A land built from the colour of legends, dragons, damsels, kings and rebellion. Militant streaks of stubborn resistance fight against oppression and challenge the power of men, bellies fuelled with the fire of injustice, as the English invaded and stripped us of Our industrial wealth.

This is the Hwyl that cruises through the veins of Welsh men and women alike, a gift from the Goddess of Awen, from within, or beyond any of her Green Hills.

Today will bring with it yet more editing of my script Repentance, but on the balcony, mourning the end of summer, enjoying whatever last generous jewels she has to offer; and tomorrow, as they say, is another day...


Kristen In London said...

my goodness, Rosie, I did not know you were Welsh! This poem strikes deep at the heart: one simply longs for that lamb... trust me to focus on the food.

Autumn, autumn, I have mixed feelings: how we hate to leave America, and yet how lovely the life is in London. And I'll see you again, so that is good news.

a gorgeous post... thank you!

Foxi Rosie said...

Praise indeed... thank you Kristen.